Wenco International Mining Systems knows the value of collecting operational data in mining is deep and broad. But data collection can pose a real headache.
Without a fleet management system (FMS) or emerging IIoT (industrial internet of things) solutions, mine personnel need to handle it the old-fashioned way: with a pen, paper, and stopwatch.
This disruption adds up. Even at a few seconds per cycle, the costs of manually jotting down cycle times and payload weights can amount to hundreds of hours of wasted time each year.
That’s why most owner-run mines now use fleet management technologies to automate the process, improving its efficiency and accuracy.
But, what about contractors?
Many mine contractors don’t see the value of an FMS built to optimize dispatching and material movement. Like anyone, though, they can still reap huge benefits from collecting accurate data about their processes.
So, what can they do?
They can use high precision machine guidance. This functionality makes data collection and reporting is streamlined, saving hours of dead time.
Consider surveying. If contractors have been hired to remove overburden, they need to compare the as-built surface with the pre-built surface to confirm compliance with the terms of their engagement. Typically, this process requires them to pause all activity while surveyors head out to the pit, set up their equipment, record their measurements, then return to the office to enter the data they collected. The whole process can take hours. Analysis takes even longer.
GNSS-based machine guidance changes all that. It merges the data collection process and the contractors’ productive work, slashing the time and attention needed. In effect, it eliminates the wait times required for surveying, letting time-conscious contractors operating on thin margins squeeze every good minute out of every shift.
Even better, though, standalone machine guidance lets contractors improve their data collection without major changes to the normal work environment. They still dig, drill, and doze, and the system does the data collection for them — no FMS, site-wide network, or cloud technologies required.
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